Regardless if you work a traditional 9-5 or a 12 hour night shift, its likely you know what hitting the midday wall feels like! Your day probably starts off with a cup of coffee or energy drink, then you're feeling pretty good, and ready to conquer the day. Next, is lunch, hopefully giving you a chance to step away or maybe you're forced to eat at your desk and as the day wears on, it happens… the wall! That drowsy feeling you get every afternoon with several hours left on the clock.
Now what? It's time for that afternoon cup of coffee, sugary soda or candy, or maybe just continue to snack on chips and candy to continue the sugar rush your body is accustomed to. Does this routine sound familiar to you? Here are some healthy alternatives to help you remain alert and awake throughout your work day.
Get some Zzzzz's:
It's recommended for adults to get on average 8 hours of sleep, but recent studies have shown this can vary depending on the person and on the quality of sleep. Before going to bed each night, turn off all cell phone notifications and limit cell phone use. Try to stick to a consistent sleep schedule. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day will help train your body and mind to prepare for rest. I like to spend at least 10 minutes before I get into bed meditating. This helps me to have a clear mind and release any mental stresses that might keep me up at night. Sleep apps like Sleep Cycle and SleepScore are also a great way to figure out your ideal sleep requirements and factors that are keeping you from a good night’s sleep, while also providing soothing sounds for a deep sleep.
Do some meal prep and portion your food:
Breaking up your calories into small meals throughout the day is a great way to ensure your energy level remains high. Keep a food journal and plan your meals throughout the day to eat every 2-3 hours. MyFitnessPal is a great app that will help you plan your meals while staying in a healthy range of calories and fat. Planning your meals ahead of time will not only encourage you to make healthy choices, but it will also give you something to look forward to throughout the day.
Get your body moving:
We are now aware that living a sedentary lifestyle significantly increases your chance of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Often referred to as “the new smoking”. Don’t let yourself become a victim of your chair! Setting timers on your phone can be a great reminder that it’s time to stand at your desk or move throughout the day. If you have a fitbit or Apple Watch, it’s easy to get notifications when you’ve been sitting for too long. If you’d rather use your phone, apps like Stepz or Pacer are great to track daily steps and even allow you to share your experiences with a network of other people. There are also a lot of great 7 minute workout apps such as Johnson and Johnson. I think we can all make time for an extra 7 minutes at some point during the day.
Skip that afternoon slump snack and stick to a plan, change up your current routine. Find out what works for you. Imagine how great you could feel and how much more successful you could be in your everyday life and career, if you are able to conquer the mid-day wall!